4 Easy Ways to Freshen Up Dinner with Fruit

Celebrate the bounty of summer by adding a sweet flourish to your evening meal.

Posted in , Aug 15, 2019

Summer fruit pizza

Summer is the time of year when fresh fruit bursts colorfully from the supermarket shelves and bins at farmer’s markets. Eating a fresh peach out of your hand, a slice of watermelon on a hot day  or a pile of plump berries in the morning are among the season’s great pleasures.

Not wanting to miss any opportunities to embrace this bounty, I am always on the lookout for fresh ways (pun deliciously intended) to add more fruit to my summer menu. Here are four ideas for making your dinner plate just a little bit sweeter.

1)  Salad

A garden-fresh salad is a great summer food, and even a main course if you make it right. Take yours to the next level by sprinkling some sweet fruits among the crisp, savory tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuces. Strawberries, blueberries, chunked up peaches and cantaloupe are all fabulous sweet surprises to tuck among the greenery!  

2)  Sauce for Meat

A homemade fruit sauce might sound like an intimidating condiment to whip up on a lazy summer evening. But really, it can be quite simple and inexpensive, not to mention delicious, especially when spooned on top of grilled chicken, fish or beef. Simmer a generous handful of mixed berries or stone fruits like peaches or nectarines in a pan with some jam or jelly, a generous pinch of salt and a splash of water or juice. Herbs like thyme, bay leaf or oregano can up the savory ante in your sauce, which can keep in the refrigerator for several days before being warmed for serving.

3)  Grain Dishes

Grains like rice, farro, quinoa or bulgur make for easy, satisfying summer eating because they’re so versatile, a blank canvas on which to paint your flavor masterpiece. Grilled vegetables are fantastic stirred into cooked grains, along with the cheese or meat of your choice to make the dish a main course. Once the dish is cooled slightly, folding in some sliced strawberries, peaches or blackberries gives your grains variety in terms of both color and taste.

4)  Pizza

Summer pizzas can be baked on store-bought dough, or even cooked on the grill to avoid heating up the house. Try topping your pizza with a sweet-savory mix that includes some gorgeous summer fruit, and you won’t want to call for take-out anytime soon! Goat or blue cheese complements strawberries or blueberries nicely, and peaches or nectarines are delicious with thinly sliced red onions and chicken, beef or pork. 

Do you ever spy fruit on your dinner plate?

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